Starting a new life in the South? Swiss, Dutch and Flemish ageing in Morocco: a lifecourse perspective

C. Bolzman, T. Fokkema, I. Guissé, D. van Dalen

Research output: Contribution to journal/periodicalArticleScientificpeer-review

11 Downloads (Pure)


This article focuses on European migrants living in Morocco and now near retirement or retired. Using a lifecourse approach we are interested in whether their timing of migration to Morocco made a difference in terms of their motivations to settle there and subsequently with the social relationships at the destination. To this end, we conducted 36 biographical interviews with Swiss, Dutch and Belgian Flemish migrants aged 50 and older. Findings show the relevance of a lifecourse perspective for international migration studies. Early adulthood migrants to Morocco had no strong obligations in their home country and were ready to explore new affective or professional experiences in a new country. They had the time to discover and find a place in Moroccan society and to develop long-lasting social relationships with kin and non-kin. Middle-adulthood migrants moved with the intention of rapidly accessing a higher standard of living thanks to the tourism economy, with hedonistic perspectives in a setting with a better climate. Their social life is limited to interaction with business clients and a few like-minded migrants from Europe, and their communication with personnel is a daily challenge. Most late-in-life migrants experienced disruptive life events before migrating, and expected to find in Morocco a second chance to build a better life. They generally move in select circles of European expatriates.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1240-1266
JournalAgeing & Society
Issue number6
Early online date07 Jan 2021
Publication statusPublished - 11 May 2021


  • ageing migrants
  • Morocco
  • lifecourse
  • life events
  • timing of migration
  • linked lives


Dive into the research topics of 'Starting a new life in the South? Swiss, Dutch and Flemish ageing in Morocco: a lifecourse perspective'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this